World Bulletin/News Desk
The United States has allocated $40 million to assist relief agencies aiding victims of the Syrian crisis, the Department of State has said. “The United States is pursuing every avenue to get humanitarian relief to those affected by the violence in Syria and is engaged in focused diplomatic efforts to secure full and unfettered access for humanitarian organizations to reach those in need,” the Department said in a statement.
The U.S. assistance includes “food, clean water, basic health care, and medical and other emergency relief supplies.” The statement also praised the governments of Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, and Iraq for keeping their countries’ borders open for Syrian refugees.
The United Nations said weeks ago that more than 9000 people had been killed in Syria since the outbreak of a popular uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011. Syrian activists have reported hundreds of new deaths in the past few weeks, including those reported during a ceasefire that has been officially in place in Syria since mid-April.
Earlier this week, UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan who brokered a peace plan to end the 14-month conflict warned that the country was on the brink of a “full civil war” as violence continued despite the presence of UN-backed international monitors tasked with observing the truce.
On Thursday, at least 55 people, mostly civilians, were killed and some 370 injured in two powerful blasts that rocked a highway near the Syrian capital, Damascus, during morning peak hour.
Russian acting Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday Moscow would not change its position on Syria despite pressure from outside.
“There are people who want to put pressure on us to change our position. We will not concede to this pressure,” he said. Russia and China have twice vetoed the UN Security Council resolutions over what they called a pro-rebel bias since the start of the Syrian uprising, but have given their full backing to Annan’s peace plan.
Former statistics chief is charged with falsifying data that laid groundwork for controversial Greek bailout
Sadiq Khan makes first international visit since he came to office in May to Paris
New figures show immigration to Britain dipped ahead of EU referendum but remained far above government targets
Council of State will issue ruling on controversial bans within 48 hours
UK politician's criticism comes as Scottish police reveal plans to incorporate hijab into uniform
Qayyara is a strategically important area for Iraqi forces planning to capture Mosul
Abu Zubayda, who the CIA admitted it had waterboarded and who has never been charged with a crime, appears for first time in 14 years at quasi-parole hearing
The CIA has declassified foreign intelligence briefings it gave President Nixon in the 1970s
Ennahda is the largest party in the 217-seat Tunisian parliament with 69 members
Kayed was placed under administrative detention for six months after he completed a 14.5-year prison sentence for his alleged work with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Police chiefs, in order to boost the number of Muslim women in the police force, want to make the force 'representative of the communities we serve'
Four-year talks result in deal to end decades of deadly conflict
Kenya struck oil for first time in northeastern Turkana county in 2012
Just weeks after a failed coup, Turkey's entry wins support from leading European countries
Move reflects diversity of Canada, encourages Muslims to join RCMP